The first review of Skin Deep is in, and I’m grateful it’s a good one!
This winning series launch from Woo (Love Love) introduces PI Siobhan O’Brien, a 40-year-old American of Korean descent who was adopted in infancy by an Irish father and a Norwegian mother. After two years working as an operative at the Ed Baker Investigative Agency in Athena, N.Y., Siobhan, to her surprise, inherits the agency when her boss has a fatal heart attack. Her first client as the new owner is Josie Sykes, the white sister of a deceased childhood friend and fellow Korean adoptee. Josie’s 18-year-old adopted Korean daughter, Penny, is missing and was last seen at Llewellyn College. Siobhan enrolls in a program for older students and soon becomes aware of the danger that lurks on Llewellyn’s seemingly placid campus. Siobhan holds her own as she contends with deadly doings at a yoga center, menacing college initiations, and bizarre researchers studying “the science of beauty.” Woo perceptively explores the theme of image and personal identity throughout. Readers will look forward to seeing more of the beguiling Siobhan.
The good folks at Publishers Weekly reviewed Love Love, and again, I’m relieved and thankful!
Woo’s poignant, engrossing follow up to 2009’s Everything Asian chronicles the lives of two adult siblings—responsible, organized Kevin Lee and his scattered younger sister, Judy—when a medical procedure surprisingly reveals that Kevin was adopted. After seeing how her father treated her dying mother, in addition to a lifetime of his withering disapproval, Judy is indifferent to the fact that her elderly dad now needs a new kidney. Kevin confronts him, then quits his job teaching tennis and goes to San Francisco on a quest to find out more about his birth parents. Both Kevin and Judy have endured recent divorces and miss their former spouses. Judy is attempting a relationship with erstwhile colleague Roger Nakamura, who seems to have a few secrets. After accepting an offer to stay in California with Claudia St. James, the eccentric mother of one of his precocious students, Kevin begins a physical relationship with her. Woo’s narrative takes serendipitous turns—he has a knack for making these twists seem organic, like things that would happen in life. Scenes recounting memories of family and lost love are also skillfully interspersed. (Sept.)